October 25, 2007

Bulldogs Seek To Extend Horizon League Championship Streak

Oct. 25, 2007

Butler will try to extend two record championship streaks when it competes in the 2007 Horizon League Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27. The league meet for both men and women will be hosted by Valparaiso University at Sunset Hills Park in Valparaiso. The women's championship is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. (CT), with the men's championship following at 12 noon (CT).

The Butler men's cross country team has won nine consecutive league titles, which includes a co-championship in 2001. Notre Dame stands second in the league record book with seven straight championships, 1988-94. Butler's women have captured five consecutive crowns and nine of the past 11 titles. No other school has won more than three straight women's championships.

First-year head coach Matt Roe will try to extend both championship streaks this weekend.

"We're as healthy as we've been in quite some time," said Roe, who was named Butler's head coach after Horizon League Coach of the Year Joe Franklin left for a position at New Mexico last summer. "We're gaining strength and momentum, and I suspect we'll run our best race of the season."

Butler nearly made a clean sweep of the men's championship race last year, capturing five of the top six individual finishes. But Roe won't have any of those runners available this year. Butler's top returning finisher, senior Sam Jacobs, placed 14th at last year's meet. Other Butler runners returning from last year are senior Kent Wories (26th) are senior Phil Hawley (59th)

Rounding out the Butler men's squad this weekend will be senior Chris Smith and freshmen Andy Baker, Tommy Davies, Matt Lawder, Madison Roeder and Nathan Tavenor.

Butler's women captured the top four individual spots in last year's meet, and two of those runners are back this season. Senior Genni Gardner placed third at the 2006 Championship, one place ahead of senior Claire Holme. Both were named first team All-Horizon League. Sophomore Marbeth Shiell, who placed 10th at last year's meet earned second team All-League honors.

Senior Sarah Kemple, who placed 16th in last year's league meet, also returns for the Bulldogs this season. Rounding out Butler's squad for this year's meet will be seniors Isabelle Stoate, Calli Grimes and Aubrey Smith, sophomore Vanessa Garlick and freshman Rachel Gibbs.

Butler has captured the past 10 individual titles in the Horizon League Men's Cross Country Championship and the past four crowns in the league women's competition.